CIG Update: Industry Best Practices

New Irrigation Association common interest group meets in Phoenix

The Irrigation Association’s recently formed Water Features and Lake Management Common Interest Group held its first face-to-face meeting Nov. 19 in Phoenix, in conjunction with the 2014 Irrigation Show & Education Conference. The overall mission of the group, set in March, is to discuss issues surrounding new technologies and best practices in the field of water features and lake management. Discussion is centered on goals and objectives to move this mission forward.

Water is essential to all life, with constantly evolving awareness and regulations that affect use, collection, storage and runoff quality. This is why the Irrigation Association has allowed us to organize under its umbrella. A well-established association with strong advocacy and good cross-indus- try connections, IA is ideal for facilitating a voice for our specific interest as well as joining forces with other like-minded groups. With many IA members already involved with water features and lake management, creating an IA common interest group gives us a voice that will be heard.

Voicing our concerns requires a methodology that will resonate with parties in all segments of our industry and lay groundwork to offer the design community, educational entities and regulatory agencies ways to work toward success in achieving their respective goals. To that end, the group has
decided to create best management practices for six categories. These BMPs will be the foundation of education to contractors via associations, manufacturers and distributors and to design, educational and regulatory groups via a yet-to-be-determined network of teachers and facilitators.

Best Management Practices

The categories of BMPs discussed are: disappearing water features; decorative water features; water gardens; lake management; flora and fauna; and swimming ponds. Each BMP will include definitions, typical components, additional components, construction methods, maintenance and appendices of charts and reference material. The BMPs will be established by volunteers within our industry, followed by peer review and completion. BMPs will be developed in a non-commercial format and will be based on the common ground of accepted practice in each category.

Our immediate goal is to finalize the initial round of BMPs by the end of the first quarter of 2015. This will provide the plat- form to begin working toward establishing teachers; establishing a contractor curricu- lum; and initiating a dialogue with design communities, colleges and universities and regulatory agencies. We are fortunate to have many highly qualified individuals ready to support this effort. It is our sincerest hope that this effort will help us flourish and thrive and provide success for all segments of our industry.

by Paul Amos,
Amos Sales Associates, Ltd.

2 Responses to CIG Update: Industry Best Practices

  1. Mountain Waterfalls January 8, 2015 at 5:35 PM #

    It would worry me that some structure of regulations is derived at that precludes the little guy from conducting his business if he doesn’t get on the bandwagon, and that the mysterious “powers that be” push as how to do something.

    It is almost always to the benefit to the big corporate interests and the tax collectors interests to regulate an industry. If this is where this is going, I sure hope the hundreds of pond builders will rise in arms….

    Just like the Tea Party rose in arms against more government intrusion with Obamacare.
    Thank you.
    Mountain W

  2. Rainman February 5, 2015 at 9:03 PM #

    The idea of BMP for lakes, ponds, waters management and any water features, is simply ludicrous on it’s entirety! Lakes and ponds are all highly unique, comprised of vastly different soil, watersheds, geography, topography, elevation, depth, climate and owner goals. This pertains to the basic construction and initial feasibility research. If you move to “Water Features”, garden ponds, or similar, laws and regulations already exist in every state and most municipalities pertaining to location, construction, size, electrical codes, etc. There can be no realistic BMP program that could conceivably work for more than a few situations without significant deviations. BMP’s are intended for use in individual companies and how they wish to conduct business. there can be NO purpose to attempt to nationalize BMP standards other than to nefariously gain market control, and ultimately, water usage control over every body of water that becomes “regulated”.

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